When is the busiest time to travel Labor Day weekend?


by KING 5 News


Posted on August 31, 2012 at 7:06 AM

Traffic jams are inevitable on big holiday weekends like Labor Day. People want to get out of town as fast as possible, and with the fewest hiccups.

In an effort to help drivers, the Washington Department of Transportation is providing traffic graphs that diagram the heaviest traffic times on some of the state's most popular highways.

Overall, expect eastbound highways, like I-90 and U.S. 2, to be most congested on Friday and westbound highways to be most congested on Monday.

But graphs also show traffic times for I-5 from Tacoma to Olympia, as well as Bellingham to the Canadian border.

Here's an explanation of the graphs:

What do the colors mean for drivers?

As the graphs turn from green to yellow, drivers can expect some congestion. During the red hours, traffic analysts predict travel will reach roadway capacity. Once a roadway reaches capacity, any small incident can cause significant backups.

What about the black line?

The black line running from left to right show typical summer traffic. This gives drivers more information on how the Labor Day 2012 holiday weekend travel may relate to a typical summer weekend.

Click through the gallery on the right to view traffic times.

Download the FREE Seattle Traffic App from KING 5 to stay on top of the backups. You'll get:

     --Real speed map and cams

     --Drive times

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